A program to support Columbia Basin employers is evolving to better meet their long-term workforce needs and to support Basin high school and post-secondary students and trades apprentices to gain local career-related work experience.
Columbia Basin Trust’s School Works program now provides wage subsidies for level 1 and 2 apprentices in 17 different types of trades. The program will continue to create part-time job opportunities for students during the school year with a new focus on career-related work experience. And, under new guidelines launching in September, the program will also offer expanded support for employers to hire post-secondary students full-time for Co-op work placements.
“We recognized that there were enhancements that could be made to the program to increase benefits to businesses, students and the trades, and create a greater impact for the region,” said Lisa Kilpatrick, Economic Senior Manager at the Trust. “This program helps support meaningful work experiences that build the skills of our younger workforce.”
Ryan White, owner of Big Horn Auto in Revelstoke, can speak to the value of bringing students into the trades. When he decided he wanted a local student to be part of his growing business, he hired first-year automotive apprentice Larado Riesen with a School Works wage subsidy.
“The benefit of having an apprentice is that I’m able to give Larado tasks that give her experience and that allows me more time to focus on other aspects of my business,” said Ryan. “What does Larado gain from this? At a young age, she’s getting real world work experience and a feel for the type of work for which she’s signing up. Speaking for the automotive industry, anything that interests and pulls new faces into the trades is helpful.”
School Works is open to business, non-profit, First Nation and public sector organizations located in the Basin. This program is delivered by the College of the Rockies on behalf of the Trust.
Applications for part-time student wage subsidies and apprentice wage subsidies open on August 16, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. MT. The co-op wage subsidy application will launch in September.
Program Guides outlining eligibility requirements and program details are available online now at ourtrust.org/schoolworks.Online applications and instructions will be posted when the program opens. Applications are accepted on a first-received, first-served basis.